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SYDNEY, Dec 18 AAP

December 18 2012, 4:17PM

The Australian share market has closed higher, but falling back from intraday levels akin to the peaks of 18 months ago.

At the close on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 21.8 points, or 0.48 per cent higher at 4,595.2, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 22.5 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 4,610.5.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 30 points higher at 4,603, with 158,382 contracts traded.